Trailer shipments edge up in second quarter

Trailer shipments in the second quarter added to strong gains posted in the first three months of 2003, according to figures compiled by ACT Research.

At the end of the second quarter, manufacturers had shipped 45,567 complete trailers, up 7% from the 42,732 shipped during the first three months of 2003. In addition, the industry added 8,462 containers, chassis, and dollies—up 79% from the previous quarter. The combined total of complete trailers, containers, chassis, and dollies (54,029) was 14% above that of the previous quarter.

For the first half of 2003, manufacturers shipped 88,299 complete trailers, up 50.20% from the corresponding period of 2002.

“Relative to the last year couple of years, 2003 has been a shot in the arm for the industry, says Kenny Vieth with ACT Research. “Unfortunately, relative to the late 1990s, there is still a lot of capacity in the industry that is being under-utilized.”

Vieth reports that orders and build have been tracking very close to one another for most of the year, which has kept backlogs basically unchanged during 2003.

“Flat backlogs suggest that over the next several months, there is little likelihood of broad-based production gains before orders for 2004 demand start getting placed in the fourth quarter of this year.”

Here is how various types of trailers performed, according to ACT Research:

• Van trailers were up 6% for the quarter and were 68% ahead for the year. Manufacturers shipped 33,799 van trailers during the second quarter and 65,741 for the first half of 2003.

• All other types of trailers were up 9% when compared with the first quarter of 2003. Manufacturers shipped 11,768 of these trailers between April and June, compared with 10,790 during the first three months of the year.

• Containers, chassis, and converter dollies were up 79% from the first quarter and were 50% ahead of the first six months of 2002.

For additional information, contact ACT Research Company, LLC at (812) 379-2085 or e-mail Kenny Vieth at [email protected]

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